Complex carbohydrates may be referred to as dietary starch and are made of sugar molecules strung together like a necklace or branched like a coil. They are often rich in fiber, thus satisfying and health promoting. They are commonly found in whole plant foods and, therefore, are also often high in vitamins and minerals.
Why You Need Complex Carbs
1. Energy: Carbs provide the body with energy immediately.eating them earlier in the day when you need most of your energy in the form of some whole grains, which take all day long to burn through your system. These carbohydrates from whole grains release slowly into the blood stream not like you do with caffeine or sugar. This means you’ll have energy all day long and won’t have to deal with the afternoon starve.
2. Digestion: Since carbs contain fiber, they help aid digestion and assist in regularity. This is one benefit of eating whole food sources of carbs such as whole grains, beans, legumes, vegetables, and fruits instead of opting for processed foods.
3. Metabolism: Most people assume that because a low-carb diet can lead to weight loss that it will improve their metabolism, but this is actually the opposite from being true. While you might lose some weight without carbs, your metabolism will slow down the longer you prolong the diet.
4. Sleep: Certain carbs like oatmeal, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, bananas, and brown rice contains large amounts of trytophan, which relax the body and help put you to sleep. Oatmeal even helps your body produce melatonin, the hormone that regulates your sleep.
5. Fiber: keeps you full a really long time. While the daily recommended amount is only 25-30 grams of fiber, most plant-based meals provide much more which means you’ll stay fuller longer.Fiber also slows down your blood sugar so you don’t get hungry quite as quickly and it keeps your glycemic levels steady all day long.
What to Avoid:
The types of carbs you’ll want to avoid are all refined grains and quick sources of sugar like cane syrup, cane sugar, sugar, brown sugar, agave nectar, and even “healthy sugars” like tapioca syrup, brown rice syrup, molasses, coconut syrup, maple syrup, breads, rolls, cereals, and other processed foods that contain refined grains or sugars
Examples of Complex Carbohydrates:
Low fat yogurt
Nuts, Seeds and Legumes
Fruits and Vegetables
Tips for switching to complex carbs:
1. Instead of white bread and pasta, switch to whole grain bread and pasta (if the switch is intimidating at first, try mixing half whole grain and half white when making your pastas).
2. Instead of munching on chips, try raw vegetables.
3. Instead of rice, try eating more beans as a base for dishes.